From his exile in Equatorial Guinea, former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has on Friday told his supporters and militants that he (Jammeh) never authorized the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) to ally with the incumbent President Adama Barrow’s National People’s Party (NPP).
Through Voice over Internet Protocol phone calls, Yahya Jammeh spoke to hundreds of his supporters who rallied his home village of Kanilai to attend an emergency meeting summoned by an APRC faction, fiercely opposed to any form of political alliance with President Adama Barrow, ahead of the December 4th presidential election.
Speaking in Gambian Jola and Mandinka languages, Yahya Jammeh said he gave clear instructions for the APRC to only form a coalition with the Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU) party led by Sheikh Tijan Hydara, who was the Attorney General and Minister of Justice when Yahya Jammeh’s hitmen assassinated Deyda Hydara.
Dismissing the APRC executive led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta, that took APRC into an alliance with Adama Barrow’s NPP, Yahya Jammeh announced that only Abdou Jarju, Bakary Saibo Sanneh, Modou Lamin Jammeh, Yaya Tamba, Matarr Kujabi, Jerending Sanyang, Ebou Sambou, Omar Mambureh, Pa Modou Mbowe, Regiana Williams and Habib Keita are the legitimate officials to speak on his behalf, and on behalf of APRC.
Yahya Jammeh said Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his APRC executive had failed the test of resilience and faith in him (Jammeh). According to Jammeh, the move by the initial executive of the APRC is the evidence of his earlier warnings that disloyal supporters will jump the ship comes hardship.
Jammeh told his militants that the people he has now designated to represent him and the APRC would henceforth work with Sheikh Tijan Hydara’s GANU party to provide the two parties’ coalition logistics and conduct of the presidential campaign.
Yahya Jammeh further announced that the APRC faction loyal to him would conduct a series of three political rallies, beginning this weekend using the Kanilai format that allowed him to speak directly to the militants through a VoIP.
Finally, Yahya Jammeh told his militants to remain united and avoid any behavior condemned by Islam and Gambian culture. Jammeh asked the APRC militants to devote themselves to a peaceful campaign and never use insults and foul words that could trigger violence in the country.
Yahya Jammeh’s silence breaking is the nightmare President Adama Barrow never wished to confront after all the efforts he deployed to seduce the APRC executive and militants.
Adama Barrow last Friday paid a controversial visit to Yahya Jammeh’s family in Kanilai during which he had closed-door discussions with Jammeh’s kinsmen. Although the content of the discussions was never made public, there is no doubt that the Kanilai clan’s exchange with Yahya Jammeh, after meeting President Barrow, triggered Yahya Jammeh’s coming out from his Malabo hideout.